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The Corr 
2 la Maid* 


His Life and Work 




21 a Maiden Lane, Strand, London, W.C.2 


The present booklet is the shorthand report of a speech 
delivered by me on the 6th of September, 191 8, at a meeting 
of the Petrograd Soviet. The comrades have persistently 
demanded from me the publication of this speech in a separ- 
ate booklet in order that the widest possible circles of workers 
and peasants might have an opportunity of acquainting them- 
. selves with the biography of Comrade Lenin. 

My speech, naturally, gives only the most cursory sketch 
■ of the life and work of Comrade Lenin. It was my inten- 
tion to revise and enlarge it but pressure of work, to my 
deep regret, has not even allowed me attentively to read 
through the shorthand notes. I feel that I have not said 
even the tenth part of that which I might and ought to have 
said, of the Iiitfe and work of Comrade Lenin. 

The present booklet presents only a feeble beginning 
of a biography of Comrade Lenin, which is yet to be written. 
To more this booklet does not pretend. 

The Petrograd Soviet decided to' publish it simultaneously 
in French, German, and English. 

Nothing now remains but to beg Comrade Lenin's for- 
giveness for having taken this decision to relate publicly 
some part of that which Comrade Lenin would certainly have 
preferred to remain unknown to the general public. The 
working class ought to know something of the biography of 
their acknowledged leader. 

G. Z. 

Nicolai Lenin : 

University ef Texas 
His Life and Wofetin 


Comrades 1 Last week may be called Lenin's week. 
I think I shall not in any way exaggerate if I say that 
every honest worker in Petrograd, in the whole 
of Europe, indeed, even in the whole world, so 
far as he may ■ have heard the news of the 
attempt on Comrade Lenin, had in the course of these 
anxious days no other thought than the one question, will 
the wounded leader of International Communism recover? 
And I, comrades, am happy to share with you the good 
news : to-day we may — at last — count the recovery of 
Comrade Lenin as entirely assured. (Thunderous ap- 

Comrades, I have in my hands a telegram, written 
already by Comrade Lenin himself. (Thunderous 

This telegram was handed in to-day at 1.10 a.m., from 
the Kremlin. This is, apparently, the first telegram of 
Comrade Lenin since he began to recover. Comrade 
Lenin gives us certain official instructions and finishes the 
telegram with the following words : " Affairs at the front 
are going well ; I have no doubt that they will go still 
better." (Applause). Therefore, comrades, one thing is 
clear, that Comrade Lenin will live (applause, ovation) to 
the terror of the enemies of Communism and to the joy of 
the proletarian Communists. 

Comrades ! It goes without saying, that in this hall 
there is not one single man who does not know, in general 
and as a whole, who Lenin is. Every working man has 
heard of Lenin, knows that this is a gigantic figure in 
the history of the Labour movement of the whole world. 
Everyone is so much accustomed to the word " Lenin," 
that he does not stop to think what, after all, he has done 



for the international and Russian Labour movement. 
Every proletarian knows that Lenin is the leader, Lenin 
is the apostle of world Communism. (Applause). But I 
think, comrades, that we cannot pay a greater honour to 
our teacher and leader to-day than if I, who am acquainted 
with the biography of Comrade Lenin somewhat intimately 
— I have had the good fortune to work side by side with 
Comrade Lenin in the closest collaboration for more than 
ten years — if I take advantage of the present occasion in 
order to share, though it be only in brief, with younger 
friends and older comrades, who have never had the 
opportunity of observing so closely the work of Comrade 
Lenin, my authentic knowledge of the life of Comrade 
Lenin. (Numerous voices, Please do!) 

* * * * 

Vladimir Ilyitch Lenin-Ulianoff is now 48 years old. 
He was born in the year 1870, on the 10th of April, at Sim- 
birsk. And out of the 48 years of his life, Comrade Lenin 
has devoted nearly 30 years work to the cause of freedom. 

The father of Comrade Lenin, by birth a peasant, was 
director of the elementary schools in the Volga provinces, 
and enjoyed great popularity among the teachers of the 
town and village schools in his district. 

The mother of Comrade Lenin I knew personally. She 
died in the year 1913. Alexander III had executed her 
eldest son, Alexander Ulianoff. From that time she con- 
centrated her maternal tenderness on Vladimir Ilyitch. 
And Comrade Lenin, in his turn, tenderly loved his 
broken-hearted little mother. 

Living in exile, hunted by the Tsar's Government, 
Comrade Lenin would tear himself away from the most 
urgent work in order to make a special journey to Sweden 
to pay a visit to his mother and to brighten for her the 
last days of her life. 

After leaving the classical " gymnasium," Lenin 


entered the faculty of Laws at Kazan University. The 
universities of the capitals were closed to him as the 
brother of an executed terrorist. A student, however, 
Vladimir Ilyitch remained but a very short while. At the 
end of a month they ejected him for taking part in the 
students' revolutionary movement. Only after the lapse 
of four years was it possible for him to take his final ex- 

The legal career, however, had no attractions for Com- 
rade Lenin. Vladimir Ilyitch always spoke in very 
humorous terms of his few days of " practice " at the 
bar. Comrade Lenin's predilections lay in an entirely 
different direction. He yearned after revolutionary 


* * * * 

Comrade Lenin stands, as it were, on the borderland 
between the old school of populist revolutionaries and the 
new school of revolutionary Marxists. Comrade Lenin 
himself took part in the student populist associations, but 
already, even at that time, he stood with one foot in the 
camp of the Marxists. 

Vladimir Ilyitch, however^ was bound by ties of blood 
with the early generation of revolutionary terrorists, those 
glorious fighters, whose names to> this day shine like 
dazzling stars — because they laid low not the friends of 
the people, like the wretched Right Socialist Revolution- 
aries, but the tyrants and oppressors of the people. 
Vladimir Ilyitch is related by blood to this race of fighters. 
He is connected with them through his brother Alexander 
Ilyitch Ulianoff, who was one of the chief promoters of 
the Narodnayai Volya, (People's Will), and who was on 
that account hanged by the Tsar's Government in the year 

Comrade Lenin himself was never a member of that 
party. But he has always inculcated upon us the most 



ardent respect for this cluster of brilliant revolutionary 
wqrkers, the first generation of Populist revolutionaries. 
Lenin, since the time when he awakened to a conscious 
political life, has never shared the Populist theories. He 
first became prominent when he began to fight against 
revolutionary Populism. He was the very antipodes of 
Mikhailovsky. He gained his first laurels as a Socialist 
precisely through the struggle against Populism. But 
nobody had so great a respect, no one ever taught the 
workers to respect these first fighters against Tsarism, as 
Vladimir Ilyitch. 

In the eyes of Comrade Lenin, such workers as Zhelya- 
boff and Sophie Perovskaya stood transcendently high — 
people who raised the flag of revolt and went forward with 
bomb and revolver against the Tsar at the end of the 
'seventies and in the beginning of the 'eighties, when 
Russia was a prison-house of nations, when every friend 
of freedom drew breath in pain, when the workers of 
Russia were still only beginning to form themselves into 
a class. Vladimir Ilyitch well understood howi great and 
immeasurable were the services of the first heralds of the 
Russian revolution. 

And Comrade Lenin did not reject this heritage. He 
said : This heritage belongs to us, and to us only. Our 
task is to carry further that work which was begun by 
Zhelyaboff. Zhelyaboff , by placing himself on the s'de of 
the working class and first raising the question of the 
Socialist revolution, was, in fact, a' Bolshevik, a Com- 
munist. In order to do the work of Zhelyaboff under 
new social conditions we must become revolutionary 
Marxists, our hearts must beat as one with the working 
class, the only revolutionary class of oar time, that class 
which is not able to win freedom for itself without freeing 
the whole world. 

Vladimir Ilyitch specially loved and was proud of the 
figure of the first great working-class leader, the carpen- 



ter Stepan Khalturin. Lenin did not know him personally, 
he knew him by hearsay and books, as we know him our- 
selves. You know the biography of this extraordinary 
proletarian of genius, who not only blew up the Winter 
Palace, but achieved something greater— he was the first 
to hoist the flag of political struggle against Tsardom in 
the name of the working class. Comrade Lenin used to 
say: When we have hundreds of such proletarians 
as Khalturin, when they are no longer solitary 
figures, going with bomb or revolver against this 
or that individual monster, when they rise at the 
head of teeming multitudes of workers— then we shall be 
invincible ; then will come an end to Tsardom, and with it 
an end also to the rule of the bourgeoisie. 

Comrade Lenin's affection for proletarians who in any 
way show capacity is especially striking. A fighter whom 
Lenin always valued and loved was the workman Ivan 
Vasilyevitch Babushkin, with whom Comrade Lenin here, 
in Petrograd, began his work in the 'nineties, together 
starting the first working-class organisations, together 
leading the first workers' strikes, together taking their 
part in the organisation of the "Iskra." This comrade 
played a prominent part in the revolution of 1905, and it 
was only by accident that in 1907 Vladimir Ilyitch learned 
from friends among the Siberian exiles that Babushkin 
had been shot by General Rennenkampf in Siberia. 

I. V. Babushkin and Shelgunoff, who is still living, and 
who is known to the Petrograd proletarians (he has now 
grown blind) — these renowned fighters, coming out of the 
working class, Comrade Lenin loved like brothers, placed 
them before us as an example, saw in them the real fore- 
runners, the true leaders of the dawning workers' revo- 

* * * * 

The first period of activity of Comrade Lenin, as of 
many other revolutionaries who sprang from among the 



ranks of the intelligentsia, was passed in student circles. 
When Comrade Lenin was expelled from Kazan University 
he went to Petrograd. And he used to tell us how, 
having already caught the Marxist infection in Samara, 
he walked about Petrograd searching" for a Marxist. 

Vivos voco! But the "tribe" of Marxists was at that 
time extremely few. There were no Marxists in Petro- 
grad, even if he searched for them in daylight with a 
torch. The Populists monopolised the minds of all the 
intellectuals, and the working class were only stretching 
themselves out of slumber to political life. 

And now there comes this young Comrade Lenin, builds 
up, after a year or two, in Petrograd the first working- 
class organisations and rallies around himself the first 
Marxist intellectuals. Very soon Lenin is already in the 
literary arena crossing swords with the old leader of the 
Populists, N. K. Mikhailovsky. 

Lenin (under the pseudonym of Ilyin) comes forward 
with a series of brilliant economic articles which at once 
win for him a name. And immediately in the ranks of 
the Populist intelligentsia there could be observed a 
certain alarm. Somebody powerful and strong has 
disturbed the petty bourgeois pool. The movement of 
the water begins. On the horizon a new figure has ap- 
peared. Someone is stirring up the stagnant air, and 
there is a breath of newness, freshness. In] Petrograd, 
Comrade Lenin, together 5 with some other followers of 
Marx and the working men of whom I have spoken, 
builds up the "Union of the Struggle for the Emancipa- 
tion of Labour. " He was entrusted by this organisation 
with the conduct of the first working-class strikes, and 
wrote the first simple, unassuming, hectographed leaflets, 
in which were formulated the economic demands of the 
Petrograd workers. It was at this time that Lenin pub- 
lished his first illegal pamphlet "On-Fines"— a pamphlet 
already forgotten, but which for lucid and popular expo- 



sition is a classic example of the popularisation of Marxism. 

At that time this was the most profitable soil for 
propaganda : to agitate against the system of fines, to 
excite economic conflicts, to raise every economic strike 
to the level of a political event. And Vladimir Ilyitch, 
with all his passionate nature, gave himself up to the work. 
He spends his days and nights in the working-class 
quarters. He is hunted by the police. He has only a 
small circle of friends. Nearly all so-called revolutionary 
intellectuals of that time meet him with hostility. The 
time was not far distant when the Populists burned the 
first Marxist writings of Plekhanoff, on which Lenin him- 
self was brought up. 

Comrade Lenin opened up here a new path. Through- 
out the whole activity of Comrade Lenin one can notice 
that he is always an innovator, that he goes against the 
current, that he ploughs a new furrow in the political and 
social life. In the 'nineties, too, at Petrograd, it fell to 
his* share to trace out a new path, to form, to rally the 
first detachments of workers, the first detachments of a 
genuine working-class intelligentsia, from which more 
than one leader of the present workers' revolution has 

It happens very often at the present time that from some- 
where out of far Siberia or the Urals there come to the 
Council of People's Commissaries, or to the All-Russian 
Congress of Soviets, workers who are at present presi- 
dents of local Soviets or leaders of the local .movement. 
They go up to Comrade Lenin and begin to call up old 
memories : "Do you remember in the early 'nineties, at 
such and such a place, how we stirred up an agitation 
for the supply of hot water for tea with a certain illegal 
leaflet, or organised such and such a strike?" Comrade 
Lenin does not always remember them ; too many people 
have crossed his path. But they all remember him. 
They know that he was their teacher, that he first let fall 




within them the spark of Communism. They know that 
he was their real friend and leader. 

Towards the end of the 'nineties Comrade Lenin, after 
a long confinement in prison, was obliged to depart into 
exile. There he developed an immense scientific and 
literary activity. There he wrote certain works, out of 
which I will dwell upon two only. The first work was a 
little pamphlet, "Problems of the Russian Social-Demo- 
crats." This pamphlet is now hardly read by anybody. 
But it remains a masterpiece of a Marxian's treatment of 
the question as to the part played by the Socialist move- 
ment in an economically backward country. At that time 
no one had finally settled the question : what should be 
the connection between the political struggle of the 
workers against Tsardom and the struggle of the pro>- 
letariat against the bourgeoisie for economic demands and 

At the present time, comrades, all this seems as simple 
as A B C. But in those days this question was far from 
being so clear. The celebrated "Economists," the pre- 
decessors of our Mensheviks, contended that the political 
struggle must be left to the Liberal bourgeoisie, and the 
only concern of the working class must be the struggle 
for an extra penny in the shilling. Comrade Lenin, fol- 
lowing the late Plekhanoff (here it is necessary to say that 
he took a great deal from Plekhanoff) gave a magnificent 
analysis of the Socialist forces contending for mastery in 
Russia. We are not to defer (Lenin argued) the forma- 
tion of working-class parties in Russia until we have won 
political freedom. No, we have not lagged behind Europe 
a hundred years In order to hang back with the organisa- 
tion of labour parties until our bourgeoisie has risen to 
power. No, now is the time, secretly and under the heavy 
hand of Tsardom, to build up in spite of these desperately 
difficult conditions, an independent Socialist class party 


of the workers, fighting at once both against Tsardom and 
against the bourgeoisie. 

The manuscript of this pamphlet was got over the 
frontier to the group of the "Emancipation of Labour." 
In Switzerland there worked at this time a group consist- 
ing of Plekhanoff, Axelrod, and Zassulitch, the first 
founders of Social-Democracy in Russia. They had lived 
abroad already 15 years. When this manuscript of Lenin's 
came to them it was the first tidings they received of 
the dawning spring. And it was none other than Paul 
Axelrod, who was at that time a Socialist, and was able 
to discern the true leaders of the working class, who, on 
the receipt of the manuscript, got into raptures. He said 
then to his circle of friends that a prodigious force had 
appeared in the ranks of our Social-Democracy, that there 
had arisen a new star of the greatest magnitude. Axelrod 
wrote a preface to Lenin's pamphlet, in which he could 
not find enough laudatory words with which to overwhelm 
Comrade Lenin. He said that for the first time since 
Plekhanoff there had appeared a leader, a practical expert 
of the working-class movement, that Lenin was a force to 
whom was assured an immense future. 

And Axelrod, in the present case— one must give him 
his due — was right. 

Still in exile, Comrade Lenin wrote a great scientific 
work, "The Development of Capitalism in Russia" — a 
book which ought to have become, and in a great measure 
did become, the inseparable companion of every worker. 
In this book Comrade Lenin settled accounts with the 
Populists, who then reigned supreme in the minds of the 
contemporary generation of our intelligentsia. He bril- 
liantly proved in this work that Plekhanoff was right when 
he asserted that Russia also would not escape the stage 
of capitalism. By means of statistics he showed that our 
country had since the 'nineties entered upon the capitalist 
stage. He gave a profound and subtle analysis of the 



development of agriculture in Russia and the invasion of 
it by capitalism. With the aid of a mighty array of facts, 
Comrade Lenin analysed the whole economic structure of 
the country, both in the towns and on the land ; and out 
of this dispassionate matter-of-fact analysis he brought out 
the revolutionary conclusions regarding the problems and 
tasks of the working class. 

This book of Lenin's was acknowledged by bour- 
geois professors as a great scientific achievement. 
I myself, in 1902, when I was still a student in Paris, 
in the School of Social Sciences, founded by Professor 
Kovalenrsk)! land others,' heard tfrom Professor Maxim 
Kovalevsky the greatest eulogy of Vladimir Ilyitch from 
his point of view. He said: " What a fine professor 
might have been made out of Lenin ! " This in the mouth 
of Professor Kovalevsky was the very highest praise. 
Yes ! out of Comrade Lenin there might have been made 
a fine professor, but out of him came the leader of the 
workers' Commune, and this, I think, is something 
greater than the most gifted of gifted professors. 

During the same period of exile, and on the eve of the 
day when he was obliged to journey out into exile, Com- 
rade Lenin began another struggle on a different front. 
Fighting with one hand against the Populists in the person 
of Mikhailovsky and others, he then began a theoretical 
struggle against the so-called "legal " Marxism. At its 
head stood P. Struve, Tugan-Baranovsky and others who 
at present are leaders of the counter-revolutionary bour- 
geoisie. This movement bad a profound social foundation. 
The Liberals of the day were seeking a stratum of society 
on which they could lean in their struggle against Tsarism 
for bourgeoisi freedom. And they saw that outside the 
working class there was none at all. They saw that the 
Populists, with their old fashioned " theories," asserting 
that we should never have capitalism, were clearly in the 


University @f Tex 

wrong. And they began to set their cap at Marxism, 
emasculating it of its revolutionary spirit and turning it 
into a "legal," tame Marxism. 

In the struggle against the Populists the legal Marxists 
were for a time our allies. They also, like ourselves, 
fought against Mikhailovsky. And at one time we were 
united with them in a definite bloc. But the sharp ear of 
Comrade Lenin had already discovered false notes in the . 
very first writings of P. Struve and Co. Lenin im- 
mediately said that this was an ally only for the nonce, 
that they would in the end betray us. 

Noteworthy is the criticism by which Comrade Lenin 
exposed the well-known book of P. Struve, " Critical 
Remarks." Struve had for a long time been regarded as 
a Social-Democrat. He published a very sensational book, 
" Critical Remarks," directed against Mikhailovsky. This 
book was criticised by Plekbanoff and Lenin. Plekhanoff 
criticised it with the brilliance, peculiar to him, of a 
literary academician ; Lenin criticised it differently. I feel 
and know, said Lenin, that in a year or two Struve will 
leave the working class and betray us to the bourgeoisie. 
Struve's book ended with the words : " Let us acknow- 
ledge our want of culture and place ourselves as appren- 
tices under capitalism." These words need thinking over, 
said Comrade Lenin. See if this Struve does not end in 
becoming an apprentice, not of capitalism, but of capi- 
talists. And though Struve was the comrade of Lenin, and 
rendered priceless services both to him and to the then 
existing Social-Democracy, yet Vladimir Ilyitch, with his 
characteristic firmness and consistency, no> sooner heard a 
false note in Struve's words than he sounded the alarm. 
He began to fight against Struve, and under the 
pseudonym of Tulin came out with an article in a magazine 
which was burnt by the censor, in which he elucidated Mr. 
Struve in detail, taking to pieces every one of his phrases 
and every one of his propositions, and showing 



that Mr. Peter Struve perhaps did not event realise it 
himself, and regarded himself as a genuine partisan 
of the Labour movement, but that in his modernism 
one could detect the very old tunes of the bour- 
geoisie. You>, are a bourgeois ideologist {Lenin 
argued), you will inevitably go over to the camp 1 of the 
bourgeoisie and break with the working class. You 
yourself bear the guilt of this, because you look upon the 
working class as a means and not as an end. It is 
only important to you as a force against the Tsar, and 
you wish to make use of it, without giving it anything 
in return. Allow us not to allow you to do this. We 
have up till now fought against the Tsar and the bour- 
geoisie, but we proclaim yet another front : we will fight 
against " legal " Marxism. We stand for genuine 
revolutionary Marxism, and reject your emasculated 
" legal " Marxism. 

Thus said Comrade Lenin. 

* * * * 

Thus was completed the work of Comrade Lenin before 
his exile to Siberia and during that exile itself. In the 
beginning of the 'nineties Comrade Lenin for the first 
time left the country. 

Lenin twice went abroad. He lived abroad several 
years. His second period of emigration I and other com- 
rades shared with him. And when we were heavy-hearted 
and discouraged, especially at the last period, during the 
war, when our hearts fell (those colmrades who were 
abroad know what it means when for years you do not hear 
the Russian speech, when you are homesick for a native 
Russian word), Comrade Lenin used to say; why do. you 
complain, is this a foreign exile? Plekhanoff and Axelrod, 
they were lonely in foreign exile when for the space of 25 
years they strained in vain their eyesight to catch a 
glimpse of the first working-class revolutionary. 

In point of fact, Vladimir Ilyitch himself pined in foreign 



exile literally like a lion in a cage. He had nothing on 
which to expend his immense, inexhaustible energy, and he 
found salvation only through leading the life of a scholar. 
He did that which had been done in his time by Marx. He 
spent about fifteen hours a day in the library and at books, 
and it is not for nothing that he stands out to-day as one 
of the most learned Marxists, and generally, one of the 
most cultured people of our time. 

But let us return to his first sojourn abroad. 

In 1901 Lenin, together with a group of then kindred 
persons (Martoff, Potresoff), entered upon the publication 
of the paper " Iskra " (The Spark). This " Iskra" is an 
historical paper closely interwoven with the name of Com- 
rade Lenin. Both friends and enemies spoke of Lenin's 
V Iskra." This was often the case. Everywhere, when- 
ever and wherever Lenin worked, in organisations, as an 
editor, in the Central Committee, or, finally, now in the 
Council of People's Commissaries, to all these organisa- 
tions inevitably struck the appellation " Lenin's." Yes, 
" Iskra " was Lenin's, and it did not lose by this, it only 
gained. (Applause). The first important article of Lenin 
in the " Iskra " was called " Where to begin," In this 
article Lenin developed the entire proximate programme 
of the Labour movement and the Russian revolution. He 
outlined in it, in their entirety, the foundations of our pro- 
gramme and revolutionary tactics. 

Already in this first article of Lenin you will practically 
find almost the whole of the quintessence of Bolshevism. 
But this article served merely as a synopsis toi the remark- 
able book of Lenin which was called " What to Do." 

Round everything that Lenin wrote there is always 
seething . strife. Nobody can remain indifferent to his 
writings. You can hate Lenin, you can love Lenin to dis- 
traction, but you cannot remain neutral. In the book 
"What to Do," Lenin stated and solved in a revolutionary 
spirit all the vexed questions of the movement of that 



epoch. And for many months and years this book was 
challenging thought, was the centre of raging passions, 
was the subject of quarrels, and ultimately led to the 
formation of a split into two irreconcilable camps. 

The " Iskra " declared a fight to the finish against the 
so-called " Economism." It fought with every variety of 
opportunism, including Economism, i.e. the future Men- 
shevism. It conducted a most energetic fight against the 
political irresponsibility of the Socialist Revolutionaries, 
and never yet has it been so plain how clear-sighted in his 
attitude towards the Social-Revolutionaries was Comrade 
Lenin, who predicted as far back as 1902-3 the future of 
the Social-Revolutionary Party. Only think ! Fifteen 
years before, when the party of the Social-Revolutionaries 
had only just been born, when it had in its ranks well-known 
members of the late "People's Will," when we had not 
yet that great political experience which was given to us 
bythe revolution — whatwasthen the position ? There comes 
forward the party of the Social-Revolutionaries, asserting 
that it is fighting for Socialism, saying that it is more 
to the Left than the "Iskra." And lo ! there gets up 
Comrade Lenin still quite young, and in face of the whole 
world dares throw at them the scornful words : " revolu- 
tionary adventurers." Lenin declared: " You, gentle- 
men of the Social-Revolutionaries, are representatives of 
the petty bourgeoisie, and nothing more." (Applause). 

When Lenin said that the party of the Social-Revolu- 
tionaries was a party of the petty bourgeoisie there 
descended upon him thunder and lightning. It was said 
that Lenin was a bad character, that he was a misanthro- 
pist, and so forth. Now, indeed, you can see that it 
was a prophetic anticipation of that which is. (Applause). 
Now we know that there are no two more fateful letters 
in the Russian alphabet than the letters : S R. Why is 
the destiny of this party so fateful? Because, calling 
■ itself Socialist, in reality it is a petty bourgeois party. 



Comrade Lenin was right when he said that these were 
no Socialists, but representatives of the petty bourgeoisie, 
that at best they were only revolutionary romantics, phan- 
tasists, and nothing more. 

Now we have an immense, and precious experience of 
a decade and a half, the experience of the revolution of the 
year 1905, the experience of the revolution of the years 
191 7-1 8. But to have predicted the real truth fifteen 
years ago, to have determined the real value of the party 
of the Social-Revolutionaries at that time — this required 
almost a prophetic gift. For this it was necessary to 
have an immense revolutionary Marxist intuition, for this 
m a word, it was necessary to be a Lenin. (Applause). 

Lenin's " Iskra " carried on not merely a political fight, 
it also carried on an immense work of organisation. The 
' Iskra " was gathering the scattered debris of our party. 
Only in the beginning of the 'nineties arose a situation in 
which it was possible to think of the formation of a 
workers' party. Comrade Lenin placed himself also at 
the head of this practical organising work, and formed 
the organisation committee attached to the " Iskra. " 
And Comrade Lenin, who bore the chief brunt of the 
literary labour in the " Iskra " and in the theoretical 
journal " Zarya " (The Dawn), at the same time became 
the soul of the organisation committee. 

The wife of Comrade Lenin, Nadezhda Konstantinovna 
Krupskaya-Ulyanova, was the secretary of the " Iskra " 
and secretary of the organisation committee. How much 
our party is indebted to her; of this one might and ought 
to speak separately. Here I will only say that, in all the 
work of Comrade Lenin as organiser of our party, a good 
deal of the credit is due to Nadezhda Konstantinovna. All 
written intercourse fell on her. At one time she carried 
on a correspondence with the whole of Russia. 

Who among the older secret workers did not know 
Nadezhda Konstantinovna? To whom did not the receipt 




of a letter from her mean joy? Who among us thought 
of her otherwise than with boundless confidence and most 

tender love? 

Martoff in one of his spiteful polemics against Lenin 
once called Nadezhda Konstantinovna ''the secretary of 
the super-centre, Lenin." Well, the whole Russian pro- 
letariat is now proud both of its " super-centre," and of 
his " secretary."' 

Lenin, assiduously, step by step, collected a secret 
organisation, and in 1903 we reached already the third 
congress of the party. Already in that historic congress, 
when the party was still united, when in its ranks stood 
Plekhanoff, Zassulitch, Axelrod, Martoff, Potressoff and 
others, already it became clear from the first minute of its 
labours that the true leader of our young party was Com- 
rade Lenin. 

Comrade Lenin is often represented as a man who cuts, 

carves, uses nothing but the surgeon's knife, who does 

not spare the unity of the proletarian ranks. But when 

the first signs of a fundamental split became apparent at 

the second congress it was Comrade Lenin who at first 

used all his influence to prevent a rupture. Lenin, indeed, 

knew how to value the unity of the labour movement. 

Only that unity was to be a unity for the struggle for 

Socialism- The idea's of Socialism were to him dearest 

above all. And so at the second congress-, as soon as 

he saw that his divergence from Martoff, Axelrod and the 

others was not a slight casual divergence; that there was 

a resurrection of the old opportunist tendency under a 

new flag; that there was rising again that same " legal " 

Marxism which Lenin had fought at the end of the 

'nineties, that his former friend Martoff, with whom he 

had been intimate, his bosom friend, with whom he had 

been together in exile, that this Martoff began to sing flat ; 

that Plekhanoff, whom until that time he had highly 

valued, began to surrender the principles of Marxism ; 


that this Plekhanoff was already giving a finger to oppor- 
tunism and opportunism would soon have his whole hand ; 
when Lenin saw all this, then the question was decided 
for him irrevocably. He said : " I shall stand alone, but 
I raise the standard of revolutionary Marxism." And he 
separated from Plekhanoff. 

I happened at the time to be abroad. I as a young 
Social-Democrat, and two of my friends, were introduced 
to Plekhanoff. We were still young, quite fledglings, 
but we sympathised with all our heart with Comrade 
Lenin. We read his " What is to be Done? " and knew 
that it was the gospel of the adherents of the " Iskra. " 
In face of this, Plekhanoff attempted, in his conversations 
with us, to pour ridicule upon Lenin. He would say: 
"You are going after him, but he has taken up such a 
line that in a few weeks he will only be fit to be put 
up as a scare-crow in the orchards. Lenin has raised the 
banner of revolt against me, Plekhanoff, against Zassu- 
litchj and Deutch. Don't you understand that this is an 
unequal fight? Lenin is practically a dead man from the 
moment that he broke away from us, the leaders, the 
group of "Emancipation of Labour" ; he is coming to the 
end of his tether." Such were Plekhanoff 's arguments, 
and they no doubt made a certain impression upon us, the 
youngsters. Plekhanoff, while speaking, was severely 
contracting his eye-brows, and we felt very frightened. 
We would go to Comrade Lenin and innocently complain 
to him : "This and that is what Plekhanoff was saying." 
Then he would laugh and would console us : "He laughs 
best who laughs last ; we shall yet fight, we shall see whom 
the workers will follow. ' ' 

"One step forward, two steps backward" — such was 
the characteristic which Lenin gave of the evolution of the 
Menshevik wing of the party. One step forward — that 
wias the advance from Economism to Iskraism ; two steps 
back — that was the retrogression from Iskraism to the 


liberal ideas of "legal" Marxism which had' found their 
resurrection in Menshevism. No wonder Comrade Lenin 
took up a merciless fight against this relapse into the 
opportunist malady. As a counter-weight to the new 
"Iskra," which passed into the hands of the Mensheviks, 
and of which Lenin ceased to be co-editor, he established 
the first Bolshevik paper "Vperiod" (Forward). It was 
at first a very small sheet which was published on the 
pennies collected abroad. At that time the Mensheviks 
had in their hands a tremendous machinery, as well as the 
whole authority of Plekhanoff and other saints, innumer- 
able papers and pamphlets as well as the central com- 
mittee, the central organ and the council of the party. 
Comrade Lenin began to bombard this Menshevik fortress 
from his little machine-gun called "Vperiod." He fired 
so far, and he aimed so well, that in a pretty short time 
not a trace was left of Plekhanoff 's heavy artillery, and 
by 1905 it became quite obvious that all that was alive 
in the Russian proletariat would follow the Bolsheviks. 

In the summer of 1905 the first congress of the Bol- 
sheviks (its official name was the third congress of the 
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party) took place, the 
first historical meeting which laid the foundations of the 
present Communist Party. It was at that meeting that 
Lenin for the first time observed that in the forthcoming 
revolution we would no longer stop to form a bourgeois 
republic. Already at that time Comnade Lenin spoke about 
the rottenness of the European Social Democratic parlia- 
mentarism. Already at that time Lenin expressed the view 
that our revolution would stand on the border between the 
bourgeois and Socialist revolution. 

It was difficult in those days to be a Bolshevik. Not 
only the Russian, but also the international conditions, 
pressed heavily upon us. Bebel, for instance, who was 
respected by Lenin as a working class leader of genius, 
would use every suitable and unsuitable occasion to re- 


proach Lenin for being against Plekhanoff. How could 
Plekhanoff ever be an opportunist? At the same time 
Axelrod was busy telling everybody who was inclined to 
listen that Lenin was a second edition of Netchayeff,* and 
that he in his fight against the "elder statesmen" was 
only pursuing ambitious aims. The entire atmosphere of 
the Social Democratic Party was hostile to Bolshevism. 

On the eve of the third Congress (that is the first con- 
gress of the Bolsheviks), Bebel rendered the following 
service to the Mensheviks. When our congress met, he 
sent us a letter in the name of the Central Committee of 
the German Social Democracy, in which he said the follow- 
ing : "Children, don't you want to make peace? I, 
Bebel, offer you and the Mensheviks arbitration. Why 
this split? Submit your troubles to our court of arbitra- 
tion. ' ' Such was the letter addressed by Bebel to Comrade 
Lenin, who brought it to the congress, and the congress 
declared : "We highly respect our Comrade Bebel, but 
on the question as to how to carry on thei fight in our 
country against the Tsar and the bourgeoisie, we must 
ask permission to hold our own views. Permit us also to 
deal with the Mensheviks in a way which agents of the 
bourgeoisie deserve." Bebel was much amazed by the 
"impertinence" of our comrades, but there was nothing 
for him to do or to say, except to shrug his shoulders. 

I quote this incident in order to show the kind of 
atmosphere, Russian and international, in which Lenin 
was fighting at the head! of the then still inconsiderable 
army of the Socialist revolution. 

* * * * 

Already in the revolution of 1905 Lenin was playing a 

*Netchayeff was an early Russian revolutionary, an anarchist 
who got up a conspiracy at the end of the sixties by rather un- 
scrupulous means, which included intercourse with the Tsar's police 
and fraudulent practice upon N's own comrades — all, of course, "for 
the good of the movement." — Trans. 



leading part. This, to the outward gaze, was not so 
noticeable at that time, as it has been in the present revolu- 
tion: You are aware that the first Petrograd Soviet of 
the Workers' Delegates in 1905 was formed by the 
Mensheviks, but in all its practical actions it followed, as 
a rule, the lead of the Bolsheviks, When the tide rose 
and the waters flooded the banks, the working class 
became aware that to form Soviets was virtually the same 
thing as to fight for power. Thereby the working dags 
became Bolshevik. 

After the revolution was defeated and the counter- 
revolution set in, when we began summing up our 
experiences, Martoff and his friends sat down by the 
waters of Babylon and started bemoaning the course of the 
first revolution. The Mensheviks themselves then had 
to admit that, alas, the revolution had been proceeding- 
according to Bolshevik precepts; that the working class 
had unfortunately submitted to the lead of the Bolsheviks. 

The Moscow armed insurrection, though defeated and 
crushed, had nevertheless been the apotheosis of the Bol- 
shevik tactics during the revolution. We were defeated, 
and Plekhanoff' a only comment} on the event was the 
phiHstine phrase : "These people ought not to have taken 
up arms." Lenin's attitude towards that insurrection 
was different. To him there was no. nobler and more 
honourable page in the history of the revolution than the 
Moscow armed insurrection. The first thing he did was 
to collect all the material relating to the affair. He 
wanted to elucidate all its features, down to the very 
smallest, and all its technical details. He wanted to 
ascertain the biography of everyone who took part in the 
insurrection. He endeavoured to interrogate every mili- 
tary expert who had taken part in it. He invited all those 
who took part in it to come forward and to explain to the 
working class and to the world at large, how the Moscow 
insurrection had been prepared and what had been the 





reasons for its defeat. For Lenin realised to perfection 
that the Moscow insurrection was the first outpost skirmish 
with the bourgeois world. He realised the world-historical 
consequences of the Moscow insurrection, crushed and 
drowned in the blood of the workers, yet the first glorious 
working-class revolt against Tsardom and capitalism in 
a most backward country. 

I repeat that the part played by Lenin in the revolution 
f 1905 was colossal. He only attended the meetings of 
he Petrograd Soviet once or twice, and he would often 
ell us how he sat in the balcony high up and unperceived 
y the public, looking down on the workers' delegates 

Sissembled in the hall of the Free Economic Society. He 
ived at that time in Petrograd in hiding, the party having 
odbidden him tocomelout too much in the open. Our official 
representative on the central committee of the Soviet was 
A. A. Bogdanoff. When it became known that the Soviet 
was going to be arrested, we forbade Lenin to attend the 
ast historical session in order that he might not be 
irrested. He only saw the Soviet in 1905 once or twice, 
put I am firmly of the opinion that even then, when he 
was looking down from his seat in the balcony upon the 
first Labour Parliament, the idea of the Soviet State must 
have already been dawning upon his mind. Perhaps, in 
those days he already foresaw, in a dream as it were, the 
time when there would be a Soviet State ; when the Soviets, 
that prototype of a Socialist proletarian State, would 
become the sole authority in the country. 

Already in those days of 1905 Lenin was teaching that 
the Soviets were not a fortuitous organisation which had 
sprung up the day before yesterday and would vanish the 
day after to-morrow; that they were not a common every- 
day organisation somewhat similar to a trade union, but 
an organisation which was opening a new page in the 
history of the international proletariat, in the history of 
the entire human race. (Applause.) 



No one was more interested in the history of the Petro- 
grad Soviet than Comrade Lenin. Though he formally 
had taken the least direct part in its labours, he, never- 
theless, appreciated better than any of us what it meant' 
For that reason he treated the Soviet watchword with the 
utmost circumspection. Thus, in 1916, during the war 
when we in Switzerland got to know that a revolutionary 
movement was beginning here at Petrograd, and that our 
comrades had begun to pass round the word about the 
reorganisation of the Soviets, Comrade Lenin wrote, i 
articles and letters, that the organisation of a Soviet wa 
a great slogan, and must not be frivolously played with 
It must only be raised when the workers were determine 
to go to the end ; to stake their heads on victory and to pr 
claim that the moment of a real proletarian revolutio 
the moment to; capture all power, had arrived. Then 
and then only, was it permissible to speak about Soviets 
since Soviets could only exist if the workers assumed a.\ 
power, since the Soviets were the form of a proletaria 
state, since the Soviets werei the undivided rule of th 
working class. 

What Lenin was insisting upon was that the Soviets 
were not the ordinary class organisation, whose purpose!, 
according to the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries, 
was to fight for the economic demands of the working 
class on the basis of capitalism only. In his opinion such 
Soviets would be doomed in advance. In fact, no Soviets 
were needed for such a purpose. In his view, the Soviets 
were organisations for the seizure of State power, and for 
transforming the workers into the ruling class. That is 
why he again and again told the Petrograd workers in 
the course of 1916 : "Ask yourselves" a hundred times 
whether you are prepared, whether you are strong enough ; 
look carefully before you' jump. To organise Soviets 
means to declare a war to a finish, to declare civil! war 
upon the bourgeoisie, to begin the proletarian revolution." 


And Comrade Lenin has remained faithful and true to 
himself in his view. 

* # * * 

But let us go back. The year' 1906 was followed by 
J a period of stagnation, by the dark era of the counter- 
revolution. The working class was digesting the lessons 
'of the first revolution. In reply to the Menshevik 
philosophy of the first revolution and the cause's of its 
defeat, we gave our own philosophy of the revolution. We 
were obliged to give it in our "underground" papers, 
leaflets, and pamphlets. We were not in a position to 
publish, with the sanction of the censorship, five big 
volumes, as the Mensheviks did. We should not have 
found any publisher, we should have been boycotted by 
the entire censored press, and, in fact, we should not have 
been allowed to say a single word by the Tsar's censor- 
ship. Lenin at that time was depicted as a sort of 
monster who could have no place in respectable society. 

We Bolsheviks were not at that time allowed to come 
out in the "legal" literature. We could only help our- 
selves by means of the free printing press abroad. 

The Mensheviks at that time represented the entire 
revolution of 1905 as a wholesale error, as a wholesale 
chaos, and elemental madness. The workers, forsooth, 
were themselves responsible for the defeat, because they 
had gone " too far " in their demands, Lenin's reply was : 
"You have failed to grasp the meaning of this movement ! 
It was a great revolution, and by no means a chaos. It 
was a great revolution, not because there was the mani- 
festo of October 30th,* not because the bourgeoisie began 
to move, but because there wjas, albeit unsuccessful, an 
armed insurrection of the workers in Moscow, because 
for the space of one month a Petrograd Soviet flitted before 
the eyes of the world proletariat. And the revolution will 

*By which the Tsar proclaimed a constitution.— Trans, 



yet arise once more; the Soviets will be reborn and will 
win. " . . . . 

In connection with this view of Lenin, that the revolu- 
tion had been a great revolution, I remember a little inci- 
dent. Last year, when we came here, we at first were 
overwhelmed by the colossal swing of the movement, and 
extolled even the March revolution sometimes as a great 
one. I remember how in an article in May, 191 7, I, 
obeying an impulse, again called the March revolution 
"great." Comrade Lenin, who was at that time with 
Comrade Kameneff and myself, joint editor of the 
"Pravda," began assiduously to strike out this word. 
When I asked jestingly why this ruthlessness against this 
particular word, Comrade Lenin severely took me to task. 
"What sort of a 'great' revolution was that? It will 
become a great one when we shall have expelled this 
counter-revolutionary; Kerensky, and wrested all power 
from the hands of the bourgeoisie, and the Petrograd 
Soviet shall be no longer a talking-shop, but the! sole 
authority in the capital. Then, indeed, our revolution will 
be a 'great' one; then, indeed, you may even write the 
'greatest revolution of all times.'" (Applause.) 

I have dwelt but little on the work of Lenin in the years 
of the counter-revolution; yet this period was one of the 
most brilliant in his activity. One had to live through 
those difficult times in distant foreign lands, in order to 
appreciate all the services rendered by Lenin to the cause. 
Ihmk for a moment of the foul atmosphere, our emi- 
gration in the years 1908-10. Lenin went into his second 
foreign exile in ,907, while I and my other comrades were 
summoned to go abroad in the autumn of 1908, after we 
had been released from prison. It was mainly owing to the 
efforts of Lenin that we established our "illegal" papers 
first*: Geneva, and then in Paris : the "Proletariat" and 
aL f° Cla i u Democrat -" A » round there was a complete 
deba-cle. There was foulness in all emigrant circles. The 



old leaders who had gone grey under the revolutionary 
banner no longer believed in anything. Pornography 
captured our entire literature, and a spirit of apostasy had 
pervaded us. The notorious "liquidation" movement* was 
raising its head, and Stolypin was celebrating his orgies. 
It seemed as if there would be no end of that ! 

At such times true leaders are recognised for what they 
are worth. Lenin was at that time (as, for the rest, 
throughout his exile) suffering great personal privations 
and living in poverty ; was ill, and fed badly — more particu- 
larly during his stay in Paris ; but he remained as cheerful 
as anybody could be. He stood steadfastly and bravely 
at his glorious post. He alone contrived to collect a 
close and intimate circle of fighters, whom he would cheer 
up by saying : "Don't be disheartened; this darkness will 
pass, the muddy wave will ebb away, a few years will 
pass and we shall be borne on the crest of the wave, and 
the proletarian revolution' will be born again." The 
emigres of that time, more particularly the Menshevik 
intellectuals, who formed the prevailing element, treated 
us with marked hostility, declaring that we were a small 
sect, the members of which could be counted on the five 
fingers of one hand. There was a special comic paper 
published in Paris, which jeered at Bolshevism and exer- 
cised its humour on such subjects as that "a reward would 
be offered of half a kingdom to the person who could name 
a fourth Bolshevik in addition to Lenin, Zinovieff, and 
Kameneff." The Bolsheviks were, forsooth, a set of 
bears sucking their own paws while life was moving past 
them. The co-operatives, the trade unions, the censored 
press were all opposed to the Bolsheviks, while Lenin and 
his disciples were sitting in a contemplative mood, attach 
ing their faith to the advent of a new Messiah and a new 
revolution which would never arrive. 

*A movement predominant among the Menshevlks for "winding 
up" all revolutionary activity.— Trans. 


In those difficult times Lenin rendered to the working 
class services perhaps even greater than ever before. At 
present, in our own days, a tremendous flood has risen 
and borne millions of individuals, ready to fight and to 
die. In those days everything was asleep, like in a ceme- 
tery. Stolypin's regime was weighing upon the working 
class like the lid of a coffin. The " older statesmen," 
after the type of Axelrod and Co., were chanting the 
dirges of the revolution and of the old illegal Labour Party. 
It was, indeed, a great merit to have raised the banner of 
the revolution in such times, to have fought all the 
Revisionism and Opportunism, to have preserved his faith 
in triumph, and awaited its moment; to have worked and 
worked without rest or haste- 
Lenin was fighting for the party, but at the same time 
he secluded himself in the library. It is needless to say 
that Marx has ever been the favourite writer of Lenin, 
just as his favourite Russian author has always been 
Chernyshevsky.* Lenin knows his Marx and Engels 
from the first to the last letter. He knows them in a way 
as only two or three persons, I think, know them in the 
world. And Lenin is, one of the very few who have 
advanced the theory of Marx and have been able to 
fructify it by some new elements and to adapt it to the 
new conditions of a new era fraught with the greatest 
consequences. How proud Marx would have been of 
Lenin, did he live to-day ! Lenin never allowed Marx to 
be insulted by anybody. The Russian so-called < 'critics" 
of Marx in their literary exercises invariably came up 
against the impregnable fortress called Lenin, and would 
invariably suffer great damage from his guns. Lenin 
fully sustained his reputation even when the philosophical 
views of Marx began to be subjected to "criticism." 

In those days Comrade Lenin carried out a tremendous 
piece of creative work. Those days were marked by a 
*A great Russian Socialist thinker (1828-80).— Trans 



sort of literary spoliation of the dead, by an unprecedented 
literary demoralisation. Attempts were made to smuggle, 
under the flag of Marxism, the ideas of bourgeois 
philosophy into working-class audiences. Lenin spent 
two years in the Paris National Library, and carried out 
such a mass of work that even bourgeois professors who 
attempted to sneer at the philosophical studies of Lenin, 
themselves admitted that they could not understand how 
one man had contrived to read such a mass of books in 
the course of two years. How, indeed, could Lenin 
succeed in this domain when "we," who had studied at 
our fathers' expense, who had spent thirty years in our 
scientific careers, who had worn out so many arm-chairs, 
who had perused such truck-loads of books, had under- 
stood nothing at all in them? ... 

In those two years Comrade Lenin was able to write 
a serious work on philosophy, which in due course will 
occupy an honourable place in the history of the struggle 
for revolutionary Marxism. He fought as passionately 
for Communism in the most abstract domain of theory as 
he 'fights now in the field of practical politics. Perhaps 
but few amongst the Petrograd workers have read this 
philosophical work of Lenin, but know you all that in this 
book the foundations of Communism were laid. He 
fought in this book all the bourgeois influences, in their 
most subtle and elusive forms, and succeeded in defending 
the materialist conception of history against the most 
cultured representatives of the bourgeoisie, and those 
writers among the Social Democrats who had succumbed 
to those influences. 

Then came the years 1910-11. A fresh wind began to 
blow, and it became evident in 191 1 that the Labour move- 
ment was being re-born. The Lena days* opened a new 
page in the history of our movement. At that time we 

*The wholesale massacre of strikers on the Lena Goldfields (a 
British company), in 1910. — Trans. 



had already at Petrograd .a "legal" paper called "Zvezda" 
(Star), at Moscow a monthly periodical, "Mysl" (Thought) 
and a small labour group in the Duma. The principal 
worker in these papers and behind the Duma group was 

Lenin managed to teach a few Labour members of the 
Duma the methods of revolutionary parliamentarism. 
You ought to have heard the conversations between Lenin 
and our young deputies when he was propounding to them 
the lessons in such parliamentarism. Simple Petrograd 
proletarians (Badayeff and others) would come to us and 
say: "We want to engage in serious legislative work; 
we want to consult you about the budget, about such and 
such Bill, about certain amendments to certain Bills 
introduced by the Cadets/' etc. In reply Comrade Lenin 
laughed heartily, and when they, somewhat abashed, 
would ask what was the matter, Comrade Lenin would 
reply to Badayeff : "My dear man, what do you want a 
budget, an amendment, a Bill for? You are workmen, and 
the Duma exists for the ruling classes. You simply step 
forward and tell all Russia in simple language about the 
hfe and toil of the working class. Describe the horrors 
of capitalist rule, summon the workers to make a revolu- 
tion, and fling into the face of this reactionary Duma that 
its members are scoundrels and exploiters !" (Applause ) 
"You had better introduce a 'Bill' stating that in three 
years' time we shall take you all, landlords and capitalists 
and hang you on the lamp-posts. That would be a real 
Bill!" (Applause.) Such were the lessons in "parlia- 
mentarism" which Comrade Lenin would propound to the 
deputies. At first Comrade Badayeff and others used to 
find them rather queer. The entire parliamentary sur- 
roundings were weighing upon our comrades. There in 
the hall of the Taurida Palace, where the Duma was meet- 
ing, all were sitting in magnificent frock coats, and the 
Ministers sat around in places of honour-and these poor 



deputies should all of a sudden break out in such nasty 
talk ! Later on, however, our deputies assimilated the 
lessons, and Lenin's enjoyment was boundless when he 
saw our deputy, the simple mechanic Badayeff, come out 
on the rostrum in the Taurida Palace and tell all those 
Rodziankos, Volkonskies, and Purishkevitches all that he 
had been taught by the teacher of the working class, 
Comrade Lenin. (Applause.) 

In 1912 a new life began. As soon as it became possible 
to publish here in Petrograd a legal paper, we migrated 
from Paris to Galicia in order to be nearer to Petrograd. 
At the January (19 12) Conference, which took place at 
Prague, the Bolsheviks consolidated the ranks which had 
suffered so heavily at the hands of the counter-revolu- 
tionaries. The party came back to life again, and, of 
course, Lenin played a leading part. At the instance of 
the new central committee, Comrade Lenin and myself 
went to stay at Cracow. There we began to receive visits 
from comrades from Petrograd, Moscow, and other towns. 
Communication was established with Petrograd, and the 
arrangements were soon so perfected that very seldom the 
"Pravda" would appear without some contribution from 
Lenin. You have been brought up on those articles, and 
you know what those papers, "Zvezda" and "Pravda," 
were for the working class. Those were the first swallows 
of the coming Communist spring. Right and left Com- 
rade Lenin hit our enemies in the columns of those papers, 
and it is owing to his articles, counsels, and private letters 
to Petrograd, that the "Pravda" soon became a sound- 
ing board for all questions of the day. Our machinery 
became so perfect that we frequently managed to have a 
conference of the Petrograd and Cracow bureaus of the 
central committee before every important meeting of trade 
unions or other labour organisations. 

I remember the first large general meeting of the Petro- 
grad Metal Workers in 1913. Two hours after the list 




of our candidates to the committee of the Union was 
adopted by the meeting (which was at that time an extra- 
ordinary success) Comrade Lenin was already in posses, 
sion of congratulatory telegrams from the Metal Workers 
on the matter. Comrade Lenin was living at that time 
thousands of miles away, but he was the very soul of the 
proletarian Petrograd. The same thing was happening 
as in 1906-7, when Comrade Lenin was residing in Finland, 
at Kuokalla, and where weekly pilgrimages, were per- 
formed by us in order to receive his advice. He was 
actually guiding the Labour movement at Petrograd from 
his little village in Finland. He was now doing the" same 
thing from Cracow, guiding not only the Petrograd, but 
the whole Russian Bolshevik movement. 
' The telegrams which are now congratulating Lenin on 
his convalescence and conveying the senders' sympathy on 
the occasion, contain very frequently the name < 'leader." 
Many a tender word has been found by our workers to 
express their sentiments towards Lenin. All sorts of 
tender names appear in telegrams. He is the "torch " 
he is the "beacon," he is the "beloved one," etc., but 
most frequently of all one name occurs in the telegrams 
the clear, strong, and perhaps rather harsh word "leader " 
He is really the chosen one of millions. He is a leader 
by the grace of God; his is the genuine figure of a leader 
such as arises once in five hundred years in the life of the 
human race. 

* * * * 

I should like to say yet a few words about Lenin's 
attitude on the war. He had long ceased to believe in the 
European Social Democracy; he knew well that some- 
hmg, W a s rotten in Demnark Hg had ]ong ^^ 

about official European Social Democrats that they were 

ZT^r, " T traband trade - rotten opportunist 
goods. When the war broke out we were living in a 
God-forsaken little mountain village in Galicia. I 



remember having had a bet with him. I said to him :. 
"You will see, the German Democrats will not dare vote 
against the war, but will abstain in the vote on the war 
credits. " Comrade Lenin replied : "No, they are not such 
scoundrels after all. They will not, of course, fight the 
war, but they will, to ease their conscience, vote against 
the credits in order that the working class might not rise 
against them." In this case Lenin was wrong, and so 
was I. Neither of us had taken the full measure of the 
flunkeyism of the Social Patriots. The European Social 
Democrats proved complete bankrupts. They all voted 
for the war credits. When the first number of the 
"Vorwarts," the organ of the German Social Democrats, 
arrived with the news that they had voted the war credits, 
Lenin at first refused to believe. "It cannot be," he 
said, "it must be a forged number. Those scoundrels, 
the German bourgeois, have specially published such a 
number of the 'Vorwarts' in order also to compel us to 
go against the International." Alas, it was not so. It 
turned out that the Social Patriots really had voted the 
war credits. When Lenin saw it, his first word was : 
"The Second International is dead." 

At that time those words had the effect of a bursting 
bomb. At present we all see clearly that this is so, the 
Second International was dead. It is now as obvious to 
us as the ABC; but think only how great the prestige 
of this International had, been before the war. It, at least, 
on paper', had counted several million members and con- 
tained in its ranks such authorities as Kautsky, Vander- 
velde, Valliant, Guesde, Plekhanoff. And all of a sudden 
a Russian Marxist gets up and announces to all the 
world, "The Second International is dead, and let it rest 
in peace. ' ' The howling and the protests of the acknow- 
ledged "leaders" of the Second International against the 
impertinent BoRsheviks knew no bounds. It was 
monstrous, they declared, that Lenin should so insult the 



entire Socialist world. Herr Scheidefnann says so even 
now. Recently at Berlin the Imperial Chancellor met the 
leaders of the parties with reference to the supplementary 
treaty between Russia and Germany. Herr Ebert, 
Scheidemann's henchman, was the only one to vote against 
this treaty, because, forsooth, Lenin and his friends were 
disgracing the banner of Socialism in Russia. Scheide- 
mann knows very well that he has a serious enemy in the 
person of Lenin. He knows well that if he is one day 
to hang on a lamp-post — it will come to this I can 
guarantee you (Applause)— he will be owing it, to a very 
large extent, among others, to Comrade Lenin, 

Lenin was one of the authors 6f the main thesis of the 
resolution of the Stuttgart International Congress of 
1907- Jointly with Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin invited the 
Stuttgart Congress to proclaim that should an imperialist 
war begin, our business would be to raise a revolution, 
that is, a civil war. After protracted arguments, the 
commission of the Congress adopted his decision, but in 
different words. Lenin told us at the time how he had 
been arguing with Bebel about those words. According 
to Lenin, Bebel had accepted the idea, but demanded great 
care in formulating it in order not to alarm the enemy 
before the time. 

Then the imperialist wan actually came, but when Lenin 
now repeated the Stuttgart resolution, when he now sub- 
mitted to the leaders of the Second International Bebel 's 
1 O U. the leaders only waived it asidfe and passed to the 
order of the day, that ils, to their respective governments, 

I remember the first manifesto of our party on the war. 
Naturally, .it was drawn up principally by Lenin himself, 
as for the rest all our most important party documents 
were. When we translated it into various European 
languages and read them out to various comrades, even 
the Swiss Internationalist Grimm and the Rumanian revo- 
lutionary Rakovsky, who Is now in our ranks, were very 



indignant. They were almost horror-struck when they 
read the words that the imperialist war must be trans- 
formed into a civil war. 

.To-day lit is al/t as simple as A B C. We are all doing 
it, we are all practically transforming the imperialist war 
into a civil war 1 , but at that time it seemed monstrous. We 
were told that only an anarchist could preach such things 
and virtually war was declared upon us. Even at Zirnmer- 
wald not only moderate men, but also men like Rakovsky 
and the Italian Serrati were bitterly opposed to> us, so that 
very fierce conflicts ensued at various stages. I well 
remember how the headstrong Rakovsky was nearly 
taking off his coat to fight Lenin and me for our opinion 
that Martoff was an agent of the bourgeoisie. "How dare 
you say such things," they shouted at us; "we have 
known Martoff for the last twenty years." But we 
replied : "We know Martoff as well as you and we are 
certain that all that is honest among the Russian workers 
will follow us and will oppose the war, while Martoff is 
championing bourgeois ideas." 

But, of course, all these petty incidents are of no par- 
ticular importance, I onjly mention them to show you how 
dead, how stagnant was the European Social Democracy 
ar the beginning of the war. No one' was prepared to 
fight. All had become habituated tot the old tracks of 
legalism and parliamentarism ; all the old leaders had 
faith in "law," and made of it a fetish. Tremendous 
efforts were needed to make an impression even among the 
Zimmerwaldians. I remember a clash at Zimmerwald 
between Lenin and Ledebour. Ledebour argued : "It is 
all right for you here living abroad to issuei appeals for 
a civil war, I should have Mked toi see how you would 
have done it if you had lived in Russia." If Ledebour 
still remembers those words, I think he must feel very 
much ashamed of them now. But Comrade Lenin coolly 
replied to him : "When Marx was drawing up hia Com- 



munist Manifesto he alsoj was living - abroad, and only 
narrow-minded could reproach him for that 
I now live; abroad, because I was sent here by the Russian 
workers, but when the time arrives, we shall know how 
to* stand at ourAftasts. ..." 

And our Comrade Lenin kept his word. 
Yet at the beginning- of the war* Lenin found very little 
sympathy even among those Socialists who' were opposed 
to the war. But how is it now? At present we can say 
without exaggeration that all that is honest in the Inter- 
national regards Lenin as its leader and banner-bearer. 
Lazzari, the leader of the Italian workers, who has grown 
grey under the red banner, and who at Zimmerwald was , 
fighting Leniin, is now going to prison for three years for 
circulating Lenin's appeals in Italy. Mehring, Clara 
Zetkin, the best among the German Internationalists, who 
used to fight Lenin in the olden days, now render him the 
tribute of their greatest respect. Or listen to what has 
beien said about Lenin by men like Gorter, Hoglund, 
Blagoeff, Loriot, and Serrati. There can be no greater 
satisfaction for Comrade Lenin than the knowledge that 
he, by his work, has captivated the minds and hearts of 
such men as all those prominent leaders of labour in 
various countries. 

Comrade Lenin became the leader of the Third Inter- 
national, which is now being born. At first many virtuous 
so-called Socialists ridiculed the idea that Lenin should 
put forward his candidature for the leadership of the Third 
International, saying that he is aspiring to the honour of 
being the successor of Bakunin. But who will now laugh 
when we say that the leader of the Third International is 
none else than Lenin? The compromise-mongers have now 
no inclination to laugh. They would rather cry, because 
they know that the Third International is a living fact, 
although owing to the state of siege it has not come into 
existence formally. And they also> know that the new 



International has in the person df Lenin a sufficiently 
strong leader, far-seeing, courageous, such as the work- 
ing class International properly needs. 

* * * * 

The part played by Comrade Lenin from the beginning 
of the war has been quite exceptional. He wias the 
first to begin collecting circles of Internationalists, and 
it was a remarkable sight how he was devoting his 
inexhaustible energy to this work in Switzerland. He 
lived first at Berne and then Zurich. The Swiss Social 
Democratic Party was at that time soaked through and 
through by opportunism and patriotism, and only a "small 
group of workers, rallied round us. Comrade Lenin would 
spend much time and strength in order to organise some 
ten on twenty individuals belonging to the Zurich working 
class youth. I lived at that time in another Swiss town, 
but I well remember the enthusiasm which Comrade 
Lenin devoted to this small work. He used to write us 
numberless letter's, urging us all to work among the 
Swiss, and rejoiced like a child when he was able to 
announce that at Zurich he had succeded in getting into 
the organisation of the Left Social Democrats seven youth- 
. ful proletarians, and, might, perhaps, succeed in getting 
an eighth. 

Of course the official Swiss Social Democratic Party 
looked o« this work of Lenin's askance. Greulich and 
Co. would declare that Lenin was corrupting the entire 
working class movement by his Russian "anarchism." 
Indeed, Comrade Lenin was corrupting it as much as he 
could. {Applause and laughter.) The philistine Swiss 
Government was then .ready to expel Lenin as an 
undesirable alien, but now we hear from our Swiss 
Socialist comrade, Moor, that the Swiss Government has 
placed in the museum as an historical document the paper 
which it exacted from us as a guarantee that we should 
behave "decently" in Switzerland. I shall not be surprised 



if the Swiss bourgeoisie, who are showing their lakes and 
mountains for a franc per head, should soon charge five 
francs for showing the autograph signature of Lenin. 

He, at that .table, in the year's 1915-17, was living in 
Switzerland quite a secluded life. The war and the col- 
lapse of the International hr^j deeply affected him, and 
many, who knew him before:, were surprised at; the change 
which had taken place in him since the war. He never 
was very tender towards the bourgeoisie, but since the 
war his hatred of the bourgeoisie became concentrated 
and sharp like a dagger. He seemed even to have 
changed in his face. 

He then lived at Zurich, in the poorest quarter, in the 
house of a shoemaker, Jin a sort of garret. He chased, 
as it were, after' every proletarian in order to proclaim to 
him that the present war was an imperialist slaughter, 
that the honour of the proletariat demanded to fight this 
war to a finish, that the arms must not be laid down 
until the working class had risen and destroyed the 
imperialist bandits (prolonged applause). 

The Bureau of the Zimmerwald Left, in which the 
principal part was played by Lenin, issued in German and 
French several leaflets, pamphlets, and three numbers of 
the periodical, "Vorbote. " It goes without saying that 
Lenin's propaganda was not to the taste of the Inter- 
national bourgeoisie. The Genman bourgeois professors 
would write entire books to announce that a certain lunatic 
had arisen, who was preaching a mad propagandist doc- 
trine. But we laughed and said, "Why then do you write 
books and articles, why concern yourselves with the 
ravings of a lunatic?" But Comrade Lenin steadily and 
quietly pursued his labours, and now things have reached 
such a pass that the German bourgeoisie has had to sign 
a treaty with Comrade Lenin as representing hundreds of 
millions of peasants and workers of entire Russia. We 
shall yet, comrades, see the moment when our proletariat 



through iits leader Lenin will dictate its will to* old Europe, 
when Comrade Lenin will, perhaps, make treaties wiljhjthc 
Government of Karl Liebknecht, and when Lenin will flielp 
the German workers to draw up the first Socialist ^decree 
in Germany (applause). 

In March, 1917, Comrade Lenin returned to Russia. 
You remember, comrades, the witches' sabbath which 
broke out when Lenin and ourselves, his disciples, came 
from abroad through Germany. What a howl there was 
about the celebrated "sealed carriage." As a matter of 
fact, Lenin entertained towards the German Imperialism 
a hatred as fierce as towards the other Imperialisms. At 
the beginning of the war the Austrian Government had 
arrested Lenin, and he spent two weeks in a Galician 
arrest-house. When a prominent member of Scheide- 
mann's party wanted to enter our carriage (which, as a 
matter of fact, was not sealed) in order to welcome us, 
the gentleman was told purposely by Lenin that we had 
no inclination to talk with traitors, arid would give him 
a thrashing if he came to us. 

The Mensheviks and Socialist revolutionaries who at 
first proudly resisted the temptation afterwards went the 
same way. So> far as Len'ib was concerned, the matter 
was simple : all bourgeois Governments were bandits ; we 
had no choice, we could not go to Russia in any other 

I shall not dwell here in detail on the part which Lenin 
has played here' at Petrograd from the beginning of our 
revolution. You have seen his work, you have watched 
it as closely as I. You know the part played by Lenin 
in the July days of 1917. For him the question of the 
necessity of the seizure of power by the proletariat had 
been settled from the first moment of our present revolu- 
tion, and the question was only about the choice of a 
suitable opportunity. In the July days our entire central 
committee was opposed to the immediate seizure of power 



Lenin was of the same opinion. But when on July 16th 
the wave of popular revolt rose high, Lenlin became alert, 
and here, upstairs, in the refreshment room of the Taurida 
Palace, a small conference took place at, .which Trotsky, 
Lenin, and myself were present. Lenin laughingly asked 
us, "Shall we not attempt now?" and he added : "No, it 
would not do to assume power now, as nothing will come 
out of it, the soldiers at the front being largely on the 
othein side and would come and massacre the Petrograd 
workers." As a matter of fact, you will remember in those 
July days Kerensky did succeed in bringing over soldiers 
from the front against us. What became ripe two or three 
months later was still immature in July, and the capture 
of power at that time might have been fatal. Lenin 
realised this before everybody else. At any rate, Lenin 
never hesitated for a moment on the question as to whether 
the proletariat, in our' revolution, ought to seize the reins 
of power, or not. All his hesitations turned round the ques- 
tion as to whether it could not be done earlier. 

You know how things developed subsequently. We 
passed through a time when fit seemed that everything was 
lost. Comrade Lenin for a moment even doubted whether 
the Soviets, corrupted by the compromise-mongers, could 
play a decisive part, and he gave out the watchword that 
we might perhaps have to seize power without the Soviets. 
But he never for a moment doubted that sooner or later 
the power would be litn our hands, and that it was neces- 
sary to hurl the Mensheviks and . the Socialist Revolu- 
tionaries to the ground. 

At first, during the July days, we could not realise what 
was occuring. One night, on July 16th, Comrade Lenin 
alone came 'into the editorial offices of the "Pravda" to 
hand over a manuscript. Half an hour afterwards, ensigns 
were already sacking those offices. On the morning of 
July 18th Lieber took me to the military staff of the district 
to obtain redress (m the matter of the sacking of the 



offices of the "Pravda." General Polovtseff, the head of 

the Staff, received me with great respect. He at that time 

•did not yet know what to do with us. But an hour later 

the Bolsheviks were being arrested and massacred. 

Then the persecutions started. Lenin and myself went 

imto hiding. We had formerly decided to be arrested — 

such was still our faith in the Mensheviks and the Right 

Socialist Revolutionaries. But the party did not permit 

us to do so. We, therefore, decided to go on hiding 

ourselves. A week later Comrade Lenin told me : "How 

■could we have been so silly as to think for one moment 

of trusting to this band and getting ourselves arrested? 

There is no other way but to fight this band ruthlessly.'" 

I Applause.) 

* * * * 

In the same way as Comrade Lenin in July, 1917, wisely 
declared that there must be no attempt to seize power, so 
after the Korniloff rebellion — especially since the end of 
September, 19 17, Lenin began urging the workers to 
seize power, or else it would be too late. 

. When, aften that rebellion, the so-called Democratic 
Conference assembled at Petrograd, Lenin at first came out 
with an article on "Compromise." He 'invited for the last 
time the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries to 
break with the bourgeoisie, to renounce their policy of 
treason, and to come to a settlement with the working 
class with a view to action against the followers of Kor- 
nilloff. But these two parties were rotten to the core. 

They had already sold their souls and could not accept 
Lenin's invitation. Thereupon Lenin sent a letter from 
his Finnish exile to the central committee of our party 
saying that the time had come to drop all procrastination, 
that it was necessary to surround the Alexandra Theatre 
(where the Democratic Conference was holding its ses- 
sions), to disperse all the scum there by force, and to seize 




Our central committee at that time did not agree with 
Comrade Lenin. Almost everybody thought that it was 
too early, and that the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolu- 
tionaries still had a large following. Lenin then, without 
hesitating long, left his asylum, and without consulting 
anybody, without considering the fears of his friends,, 
came to Petrograd in order to preach an immediate 
rising. Kerensky and Avxentyeff were at that time issuing 
writs for the arrest of Lenin, while Lenin, from his under- 
ground hiding, was preparing a rebellion, arguing with, 
those who hesitated, castigating those who were afraid, 
and writing and agitating foil an early rising. And he 

At present everybody sees that Lenin was right. It was 
all a matter of touch and go. If we had not taken power 
into our hands, Savinkoff and Paltchiinsky would have 
crushed us a month later. The question was raised by 
history in no ambiguous manner. Either we or they. 
Either the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, mad with fear 
and hatred towards the workers, or the dictatorship of the 
proletariat pitilessly sweeping away the bourgeoisie. 

Now, of course, lit is all clear, but at that time, amidst 
the whirlpool of events it required the exact eye of a Lenin, 
his genius and intuition, in ortler to declare : "Not a week 
later, now or never." And it also required the unbending 
strength of will of a Lenin to surmount all the obstacles, 
and to sfart at the appointed time the greatest (revolution 
ever known in history. It is not that Comrade Lenin did 
not realise the tremendous difficulties with which the 
working class would be confronted after the conquest of 
power. Lenin knew all this to perfection. From the very 
first days 'of his arrival at Petrograd he had been carefully 
watching the progressive economic ruin. He valued the 
acquaintance of every bank clerk, trying to penetrate into 
the details of the bank business- He knew well the food' 
and other difficulties. In one of his most remarkable 


books: "Will the Bolsheviks be able to keep the State 
power?" Comrade Lenin dwelt in detail on these diffi- 
culties. It is true that the latter proved still more for- 
midable than even Lenin anticipated. 

But no other way was open to the working class than 
the one trodden lin November 1 . 

Both on the question of the nationalisation of the banks 
and on that of our food policy, as well as military policy, the 
decisive word was said by Lenin. He alone drew up in 
all its details the scheme of practical measures in all these 
domains long before November 7th. Clearness, precision, 
conereteness — such are the chief features in Lenin's work, 
and he alone has generalised all these individual: measures 
in his work on the "State," which, to< my mind, is the 
m'ost important one after Marx's "Capital." The Soviet 
State has found in Lenin not only its chief political leader, 
practical organiser, ardent propagandist, poet and singer, 
but also* lilts principal theoretician, its Karl Marx. The 
November revolution — in so far as even,, in a revolution 
one may, and indeed must speak of the part played by the 
individual, as well as the part played in connection with 
it by our party — is to the extent of nine-tenths the work 
of Lenin. If anybody could bring into line all those who 
doubted or hesitated, it was Lenin. 

I can say this for myseEf, that if I shall repent in my 
life of anything, it will not be of the fifteen years that 1 
have been working under the guidance of Comrade Lenin, 
but of those few November days when I thought that 
Lenin was too* much in a hurry, was forcing events, was 
committing a mistake, and that I would have to> oppose 
him. It lis now as clear as noonday that if the working 
class, under the guidance of Lenin, had not seized power 
in time, we should, a few weeks later, have had the 
dictatorship of the most ruthless, most unscrupulous 
bourgeois rascals. (Loud and continued applause.) It 
is known now that it had been decided to f massacre us ail 



by the time of the meeting of the Constituent Assembly, 
and if the generals had had more soldiers at their disposal, 
they would have done so. Even after November 7th the 
Right Socialist Revolutionaries, intended to massacre us, 
and one of their membens, Massloff, even recruited 
soldiers for the purpose. He admitted very recently him- 
self, that he had succeeded in scraping together only 
5,000 champions of a very doubtfull quality. There was 
the will, but them was not the way. 

Comrade Lenin calculated the moment to perfection. 
He did not want to delay even for a week, and knew how 
to raise the question to a direct issue. He wrote article 
after article, publicly, over his signature, in a paper which 
everybody could read, openly appealing for an armed 
rising, and fixing a definite date. And all this, while 
Kerensky was still in power and seemed to many to be 
still very strong. Lenin challenged the entire bourgeoisie 
and all compromise-mongers, telling them that to-morrow 
he and his friends would overthrow them. And everybody 
knew that on the lips of Lenin this was not an empty 
threat, that it would be followed by deed. This could only 
have been done by Lenin. 

* * * * 

And what about those memorable days of Brest, the 
days of bitter disappointment ! How difficult, how pain- 
fully difficult was it at that time to make a decision ! I 
cannot even imagine what would have happened if we had 
not had Lenin with us at the time. Who else could 
have assumed this terrific responsibility of acting against 
.the overwhelming majority of the Soviets, against a con- 
siderable portion of our party, and at one time against 
even a majority of the central committee of, the party ? 
Only Lenin could lift this burden on his shoulders, and 
only he could have been followed by those who were hesita- 
ting. It was Lenin who was fated to save Petrograd, 
Russia, Our party, our revolution. Now there are but 



few clever persons who would attempt to ridicule Lenin's 
theory of "breathing-space." It is now clear to every- 
body that it was the only right thing to do, to yield to 
the enemies space in order to gain time. 

That is why the man who has accomplished such work 
is entitled to immortality. That is why a blow directed 
against him is received by everybody as a blow directed 
against themselves. Comrade Trotsky was right when 
he said in Moscow : "When Comrade Lenin lay cruelly 
wounded and struggling with death, our' own lives seemed 
so superfluous, so unimportant. . ." 

Comrade Lenin was frequently compared with Marat, 
but fate was kinder to him than to Marat, who became 
dear to his people, after his death. Our teacher Lenin 
was within an ace of death. He was dear enough. to> our 
people even before that attemtpt, but now, after that 
treacherous attempt, he will become a thousand times 
dearer to the hearts of the working class. Marat lived 
still in the memory of his people a long timei after his 
physical life had been cut, but Lenin will live long yet, 
not only in our minds and hearts, but also in our ranks, 
in order to fight with us and to carry to> a triumphant 
end the first Workers' Socialist Revolution. (Storm of 

Yes, a Marat closely connected with the millions of the 
town and country proletariat. That is Lenin. Take the 
fanatical devotion to the people which distinguished 
Marat; take his simplicity, his intimate: knowledge of the 
soul of .the people, take his elemental faith in the inex- 
haustible strength of the "lower depths," take all this 
and add to it the first-dlass education of a Marxist, an 
iron will, an acute analytical mind, and you will get Lenin 
such as we know him now. A revolutionary Social 
Democrat is just a Jacobin who has tied up his fate with 
the most advanced class of modern times, with the pro- 
letariat — such was Lenin's reply in 1904 to the Mensheviks 



who were accusing him. of Jacobinism. The figure of the 
proletarian "Jacobin," Lenin, will yet throw into shade 
the glory of the most glorious of the Jacobins of the time 
of the Great French Revolution. 

August Bebel was never forgiven by the German 
bourgeoisie for having o-noet declared in the Reichstag : "I 
hate your bourgeois order; yes, I am a deadly enemy of 
your entire bourgeois society. ' ' And the same Bebel used 
to say : "When I am praised by the bourgeoisie, I ask 
myself, 'You, old fellow, what folly have you committed to 
have merited the praises of these cannibals?' " But Com- 
rade Lenin will never have to put himself such a question. 
He is quite guaranteed against that. He has never been 
praised by the bourgeoisie who had been persecuting him 
with a wild hatred all during the long years of his cap- 
tivity, and he is proud of it. At the moment of greatest 
crisis Lenin is fond of repeating, as he did on the eve of 
the November Revolution, the poet's words : "We hear 
sounds of approval not In the sweet murmur of praise, 
but in the wild shouts of rage." This is characteristic of 
Lenin, who> is entirely reflected in the verses. Lenin 
quotes poetry but seldom, but in this case he used it with 
good reason. The wild shouts of rage of the enemies of 
the working class have ever been the best music to Lenin's 
ear. The greater the rage of the enemies, the more assured 
Lenin is. Again, Lenin is fond of comparing our revolu- 
tion with a rushing irailway engine. Indeed, our railwav 
engine rushes with a dizzy swiftness, but then our driver 
manages the engine, as no one else can. His eye is sharp, 
and his hand is firm and will not tremble for one second 
even at the most dangerous culverts. 

At this moment our leader is lying wounded. For a 
few days he struggled with death, but he vanquished it, 
and he still lives. This is symbolical. At one time it 
looked as if our revolution had been mortally wounded! 
It is at present coming round again, as our leader Comrade 



Lenin is coming round; the clouds will scatter, and we 
shall vanquish all our enemies. (Storm of applause.) 

In one of my telegrams to Lenin I expresed the wish 
that his first appearance before the public after his con- 
valescence might take place at Petrograd in our midst. 
I am profoundly convinced that this was also desired by 
you, but I am afraid that it will not be so. Lenin will 
.not be restrained. His first public appearance, indeed, 
already occurred to-day. He would not acquiesce in a 
condition of an invalid. He rises from bed, asks for 
telegrams and papers, sits down to work, and cannot 
forget that he is the most; responsible worker in the 
greatest revolution in the world. (Applause.) That is 
why I think we shall not have the desired happiness. But 
we shall have the happiness of another kind. We know 
that no Soviet, no worker, enjoys so much the infinite love 
and respect of Lenin as the Petrograd Soviet and the 
Petrograd workers. 

This, comrades, is no mere phrase ; it is truth. Each 
time when the situation becomes difficult and calls for 
heroic measures, the first thing which occurs to Comrade 
Lenin is to' appeal to the Petrograd proletariat. "Why 
are you idle? Don't you understand that you are the 
salt of the earth ; that you must save not only yourselves, 
but the entire workers' revolution?" Such is' the sense 
of the numerous messages which Comrade Lenin has 
addressed to you many times from Moscow. Lenin is? 
convinced that any single one of you, Petrograd workers, 
is worth a hundred others. Comrade Lenin, one could 
almost say, has a superstitious faith in the Petrograd 
worker. He is profoundly convinced that the Petrograd 
worker can do anything he likes; that he possesses a 
special talisman ; is made of a special metal. 

Well, comrades, we are too great friends to need mutual 
compliments. Still, I will tell you that there is some 
truth in it. It is not, of course, that the Petrograd 



workers are superhuman creatures. It is that 
Petrognad has passed through the fire of two revolutions ; 
that the Labour movement here has passed though the 
best school, and that Lenin began here in the 'nineties his 
career; also that many of you, without, perhaps, your 
being aware, have in you a drop from the sweat of his 
labours, of his untiring work. Here, in Petrograd, will 
be found even now circles and nests of disciples of Com- 
rade Lenin, who used to pass from mouth to mouth among 
the more intelligent proletarians what they had learned 
of Comrade Lenin. Here a whole generation of labour 
fighters has had the happiness to see in their ranks a 
teacher like Lenin. . . . 

On this day when there is such joy in our hearts on the 
occasion of the convalescence of Comrade Lenin, while the 
general situation of the revolution continues to be grave; 
on this day, if we wish to honour Comrade Lenin and to 
justify his hopes, we must say to ourselves , : "Let us be 
at least a little like Comrade Lenin. ' ' 

I remember a symposium which was published in 19 \2 
at Saratoff by a group of Mensheviks and Bundists. One 
of the writers, I remember, apparently a sincere man, 
relating his reminiscences of the years 1903-5, wrote : "I 
was a Menshevik and I hated Lenin, but when I read his 
book, "What is to be done," somewhere in my mind a 
thought arose j 'Well, it would not be so bad, after all, 
to be a little like the ideal of a Russian revolutionary 
which Lenin depicts in the book.' " Such were the words 
of a Menshevik, of a rabid opponent of Lenin. But we 
disciples and followers of Lenin, we have the right to pro- 
claim publicly : Yes, we are endeavouring to be at least 
a little like this ardent tribune of International Commun- 
ism, like this greatest leader and worker of the Socialist 
Revolution ever known in history. Long live, then, 
Comrade Lenin ! (Storm of applause.) 



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